The Meaning Of All Is Lost
By Joe Quirk

It has been a rough year for most of us, most notably with the pandemic and the effects of it, for the economy, for the environment, for relationships, even for our ability to speak to one another and at some point, the concept of “all is lost”(metaphorically)  could spring to mind and if you feel this way, you’re not alone. 

I wish I could promise you that things get better tomorrow or soon. I hope they do, but it’s not in my power to make such a promise valid. Nor do I wish to provide false sunshine as if smiling through a wildfire is the appropriate response, because it isn’t. I think it’s ok to recognize these moments for what they are and it’s fair and reasonable to feel sad or uncertain or any other emotion that fits within the times we live in.

But I will say that every story has an “all is lost” moment and the greatest stories, real and fiction, reach this moment and then moves forward and things do change.  There is a greater chance of things changing for the better when the protagonist is active and not passive in events.  Now real life is not required to follow a “story” format, but real life does inform the stories we know and tell others, so I firmly believe there is truth to this concept.

It is during difficult times most of all that we must actively pursue our goals, the things that give us the greatest joy and greatest purpose, and more than ever we must fight for the things that are worthy of us. Because “all is lost” is not really the end of the story, it just feels like it sometimes.   

In the archetype of storytelling, “all is lost” is the point where the protagonist recognizes that “magical wishful thinking” and/or simply reacting to events as they unfold before them is no longer a winning strategy if it ever was in the first place.  The all is lost moment is the turning point where the protagonist faces hard truths, faces reality head on and forges forward with determination and purpose.

If you are at this moment, then this is the way forward. Recognizing where you are and making positive clear-eyed choices and heading towards personal and professional goals with a passion is the only way forward.  When “all is lost”, all is not really and truly lost unless we allow ourselves to remain static. 

So now more than ever, move forward with passion and purpose.

You are the hero of your story.  Slay your dragons.

And the feelings of this week or this year will pass with celebrations of the triumphs yet to come.

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